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The Shiba Inu Puppy Cam (also known as Puppy Cam or variations) is a website that featured a live-streamed webcam trained on the puppy-pen for six Shiba Inu puppies born on October 7, 2008. It became an Internet phenomenon.[1][2]

Contents

Background

The webcam was set up on Ustream in October 2008, by a San Francisco, California couple to monitor their Shiba Inu puppies while they were at work.[3] The live streaming website showed the puppies interacting with each other in a variety of ways; sleeping, playing with toys, tearing up wee pads, and occasionally snuggling with their mother, Kika.[4] Links to the site spread virally. By October 13, 2008, three million viewers had spent 1.2 million hours watching the puppies via the Internet.[3]

The six puppies (three females: Autumn, Ayumi & Amaya and three males: Aki, Akoni & Ando) were identified mainly by their different colored collars. The list of countries from which people watched the live puppy cam from around the world grew to 74.

As of December 7, 2008, Autumn, Akoni and Ando had been adopted by new owners. Two other pups, Aki and Amaya, went to their new homes later that month at Christmas time. The couple has kept one pup, Ayumi, and the cam has been kept on so viewers can watch her interact with the three adult Shibas in the house. The couple remains anonymous to this day.

The couple created a 2009 calendar showing various pups on each month; shortly afterward they created a mouse pad with one of the pictures. Donations from the calendar are being sent to various Shiba Inu rescue organizations around the United States, and the amount has so far totaled over $6,000.[5] For their 2010 calendar, the couple have included their other Shibas Yuuki (the eldest, a red female) and Haru (black and tan male) as well as pictures of the now adult Shiba Six, courtesy of their owners. Like the previous year's calendar, proceeds from the sale are being donated to Shiba Inu rescue organizations around the US.[5]

From April to November 2009, regular viewers of the Puppy Cam (who call themselves Shibaholics) collectively donated $11,172 to Shiba Inu Rescue Resources of America in honor of the SFShiba family.[5]

Second litter

Kika's second litter of puppies were born on January 16, 2010. The Puppy Cam is now trained on the "B" team of five pups, two females and three males. Two of the three males are cream color, the rest of the pups are red. The puppies in birth order are the girls: Bella and Beni-Bara, and the boys: Bonsai, Bento, and Byakko.

Not two days after the pups were born, the first news articles about the "B" team started appearing. One of the first was on a Los Angeles NBC affiliate's website.[6]. Cute Overload[7], where many people first learned of the original pups in October 2008, again featured the pups on their website. The sites Gawker.com[8] and Mashable.com [9] also featured the pups. Before their one-week birthday, the puppies' national attention grew as they appeared on PeoplePets.com [10] as well as The Bay Area Blog of the New York Times [11]. A few days later the puppies were in the national spotlight again in the L.A. Unleashed section of the Los Angeles Times [12] .

Media attention for the first litter

On November 14, 2008, NBC Nightly News broadcast a live feed of the camera to its national TV audience.[13] On November 15, 2008, The Today Show interviewed the founders of Ustream about the puppies.[14] On November 18, 2008, CNN coverage played several clips from the feed.[15] Bill O'Reilly used footage from the camera as representative of the overall trend of popular animal videos on the Internet.[16] On December 11, 2008, Jeff Horwich of Minnesota Public Radio posted a song written about the puppy cam.[17] Other major networks, including MSNBC and ABC, have also broadcast the feed. The puppies have been featured in magazines including Time, People, Entertainment Weekly, TV Guide, and online sites like boingboing and Gawker.

In April 2009, the Shiba Inu Puppy Cam was nominated for The 13th Annual Webby Awards in the Viral category,[18] and was the People’s Voice Award winner. According to UStream, the Puppy Cam won out over nearly 10,000 entries from more than 60 countries.[19] The Summer 2009 issue of the Shiba E-News had an article on the Puppy Cam and the fundraising efforts of its followers on behalf of the Shiba rescue organizations supported by SIRRA. In November 2009, the American Kennel Club Gazette featured an article on the continued efforts of the puppy cam fans as significant contributors to SIRRA.[20] Shortly afterward, the Winter 2009 edition of Shiba World magazine featured an article on the Shibaholics, their donations to Shiba Rescue and their being ringside at the 2009 Nationals dog show in Clemmons, NC.[21]

In The Mighty B! episode "Awww-esome!", the webcast was parodied as a "Puppy Net", and everyone was hooked on watching it.

References

  1. ^ Jemima Kiss (2008-11-13). "Puppy cam: the latest internet sensation". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/pda/2008/nov/13/digitalvideo-digitalmedia. 
  2. ^ Adam Abramson (2008-11-13). "Live puppy cam ... the best Web site ever". New York Newsday. http://weblogs.newsday.com/entertainment/celebrities_blog/2008/11/live_puppy_cam_the_best_web_si.html. 
  3. ^ a b Carol Vinzant (2008-11-13). "Meet the Six Stars of The Puppy Cam". People Magazine. http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20240125,00.html. 
  4. ^ Kate Pickert (2008-11-11). "Puppycam: For When You're Sick of Politics". Time Magazine. http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1858007,00.html. 
  5. ^ a b c Shiba Inu Puppy Cam
  6. ^ "Cuteness Strikes Back: Shiba Inu Puppycam Returns". NBC Los Angeles. 2010-01-18. http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/tech/Cuteness-Strikes-Back-Shiba-Inu-Puppycam-Returns-81991197.html. 
  7. ^ Pull up the La-Z-Boy and grab your popcorn
  8. ^ Puppy Cam: The Second Generation Has Arrived
  9. ^ The Shiba Inu Puppies Are Back
  10. ^ : The Puppy Cam Returns with a New Litter
  11. ^ The Shiba Inu Puppy Cam: Reassuring Squeaks in Uncertain Times
  12. ^ Just this once, your afternoon adorable: Live puppy cam shows shiba inu litter, again
  13. ^ "Puppy Cam takes Web by storm". NBC Nightly News. 2008-11-14. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032619/#27724762. 
  14. ^ "'Puppy cam' spreads across internet". The Today Show. 2008-11-15. http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/26184891/vp/27734427#27734427. 
  15. ^ "Puppy Watch". CNN. 2008-11-18. http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/politics/2008/11/18/moos.puppy.watch.cnn. 
  16. ^ The O'Reilly Factor. Fox News. Broadcast: December 3, 2008.
  17. ^ [1], Minnesota Public Radio Puppy Cam Song Archive.
  18. ^ Shiba Inu Puppy Cam is finalist for The Webby Awards!, Announcement on The Ustream.tv blog.
  19. ^ Shiba Inu Puppy Cam Wins People’s Voice Webby Award
  20. ^ Shiba Inu Puppy Cam Fans to the Rescue, American Kennel Club Gazette November 2009 Issue.
  21. ^ Three Cheers for the Shibaholics!!!, Shiba World, Winter 2009 Issue, Page 53. Not viewable online without subscription.

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